Jamaica is a very small island only 125 miles long and 25 miles wide at its widest point, yet her impact on the world is immeasurable.
A country so small yet so great. Her contributions on this earth knows no boundaries or borders. It started with a people who were enslaved but still had the blood of kings and warriors flowing through their veins.
First there were the Maroons of Jamaica who waged war against the British in order to establish their own free communities in Jamaica. Brave Ashanti men and women; like the Queen Nanny, the King Cudjoe and Quao. From Portland, to Trelawny, to St. James to St. Elizabeth, these great men and women fought and defeated the British repeatedly. It was the fight of the Maroons in Jamaica that inspired those living under British tyranny in the Americas to also stand up and fight. They figured that if these Africans could fight and gain free communities in Jamaica, then they too could fight for independence from the British. Thus in 1776, the United states gain independence from the British, thanks to Jamaica’s inspiration.
The United States gained independence in 1776 and not long after that, a Jamaican Maroon named Dutty Boukman aka Dutty Bookman went to reside in Haiti. In 1791 Dutty Boukman prophesied that Jean François would lead a revolution that would free all slaves in Haiti. Boukman later lead a rebellion where almost 2,000 plantations were burned and over 1,000 slave masters killed. This was the beginning of what would spark the Haitian Revolution of 1804. Of course the story of the Haitian revolution is or should be well known. This was the with the direct contribution of the Jamaican Maroons.
The blood of the Jamaican Maroons flowed through Marcus Garvey and inspired him to start the UNIA and the Black Star Liner shipping movement. A lot of people run around saying “ONE LOVE” and have no idea where it came from. This was a term coined by Marcus Garvey and is known and used all over the world today. Marcus Garvey inspired people from every continent to emancipate themselves from mental slavery as only the individual can free his or her mind. If you listen or read a Marcus Garvey speech, you will see the direct influence he had on Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and almost every Black leader that came after him, even Barack Obama.
Marcus Garvey was a prophet. The FBI and CIA referred to him as the Black Moses. His main prophesy was, “look to the east for the coming of a Black king.” The crowning of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I was the fulfillment of the Marcus Garvey prophecy. This even inspired Leonard Howell, another great Jamaican, to form the Rastafari movement.
So when you think of Jamaica, it is OK to think of reggae or to think that they can run, but it is important that you know that; Jamaicans are much more than singers and runners.